After failing in an attempt to bring his former right hand man Phil Thompson to the club Houllier is chasing another reunion from his Liverpool days. It was confirmed last Friday that when Houllier takes charge he will not be assisted by Kevin MacDonald, who prefers to return to his reserve team manager role. The Frenchman has therefore set finding an assistant to him at Villa Park as a priority. It is now believed that the 63 year old is after Middlesbrough first team coach and former Liverpool midfielder, Gary McAllister.
The former Scotland international only began his current role at Middlesbrough in May of this year but is already thought to have attracted interest from a number of clubs. McAllister, now 45, has had brief spells in management at two of his previous clubs in Coventry, where he was forced to resign for personal reasons, and Leeds United in 2008. He took the club to the League One Play-Off final in his first season but was defeated by Doncaster and sacked the following December after a string of poor results.
Houllier showed faith in McAllister in what many believed to be a questionable signing. The midfielder joined the club in a bosman transfer in 2000 at the age of 35. McAllister went on to repay the faith shown in him by his manager playing a key role in the treble winning side of 2000-01. The Frenchman hailed the Scot as his “most inspirational signing” appearing 87 times in his short two year spell netting 9 times.
It has now been revealed that former player and manager still share a strong relationship and McAllister is now hotly tipped to become the new manager’s assistant at Villa. It is thought that the lure of a return to the Premier League may be too good to turn down and Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan has confirmed contact has been made regarding his first team coach’s services. Strachan stated that the issue will be discussed and resolved following his sides midweek clash with Burnley.
“There has been contact with two clubs but what we’ll do is leave it until after the game before we talk about it.”
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